Saturday, January 13, 2007


A prayer along the way

I'm not a statue to be built
With more bricks added to me
I'm just a large piece of wood
That needs to be carved

So take away the outside
Take away the layers I show
Carve me on the inside
So it's You alone I know

I'd rather be sculpted
than to be a building
I'd rather allow You take away
than to hold on to today

Lord You know
I'm not what they see
Lord You know
The worry inside of me
But Lord You are
More patient than men
How do You put up with me?

So, Father, please carve me as you wish
Father please take my ugly layers
Let the old stuff die
Father I pray I might be little to You
Father I pray that You may be big to me

Please help this outside to go
May it be You alone I show
If it is true that Christ is in me
Than allow this little one that carries You
To be taken apart, broken down, exhausted in the smoke
And shine in this carving
With outside stuff now lost
Shine I pray in this carving
And perfect this small piece of me

So take away the outside
Take away the layers I show
Carve me on the inside
So it's You alone I know

This poem is written after a week of 2 flat tires, broken down truck in the bush 6 hours away from any city, 2 broken windows, stolen clothing, deceiving manipulators and thieves, being detained hours by the police with visa problems; and frankly at times I found that I still care too much about this life, I still actually for a moment believe that earth is my home and I find that I love the things even for a second at a time. I found myself exhausted from worry and stress, I found myself in a position where had God not delivered me so quickly I could have been stuck out in the bush for a few days. And why, why did that bother me? Why was I worried? The logical explanation is that my truck is worth a lot of money. LOVE!!! Love for that possession I see!!! Oh God, let me not have a second of doubt, for I know Your hand is mighty to save!!! I've had to let go, and more so ask the Lord to help me let go. I've had a week where I feel like I lived 3 months of life. I tried to leave the country to refresh my 30 day visa, only to find at the border they wouldn't allow us back in. So, in "no man's land" where I wasn't exactly on the Tanzania side, not exactly on the Mozambique side, I wasn't able to get into either country---there was a river in front but no after a boat ride and then a bike ride into Tanzania and paying $70 for those 2 rides that only lasted about 30 minutes (robbery! They made me pay 3 times what a national pays only because I'm white and they think I'm rich) I did allow myself to doubt the Lord and what He would do. Now, I see favor upon us and after a few phone calls I can stay in Mozambique, praise the Lord. Then once they did finally let us into Mozambique again, the altinator to the truck broke down, hours away from any city. Some village mechanics helped fix it for a decent rate, and I was able to witness to a man who knew English pretty well in the process. He begged me to stay in his city and teach the can imagine my pain in leaving (which I only did because if I stayed I'd be facing governmental problems at the moment).

After all this, the prayer just fell off my tongue, "I'm a wood carving." I began to pray, "Lord, don't build me anymore, Lord, take me down so that You can carve whatever You want." Now, I feel refreshed and a new reality faces me that I can let go of this life more and more and more than I yet know, and, as I do, He will carve all that He wants to make in me while I let go. Praise the Lord.

We were able to preach to many lately, and we have a few more weeks in this country now should God allow it. But, I'm not looking to gain anything else again. While looking to find those who are forgotten, I myself must forget all that is behind me and look ahead to the Lord and allow Him to change me along the way. So, what better than at this altar to give Him a prayer along the way? This entry is Yours my Lord, take it, have it, and if someone is reading smile upon them as we allow You to carve us while we do what we do for you. Amen.

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